Writings of a Beholder 🌿 2.10.23
Confidence in what we can't yet see
Confidence in What We Can’t Yet See
Growth often feels like a slow, invisible process.
We sense the tugging and the stretching — we can feel it in our bodies and our souls — but the roots that expand beneath the surface remain a bit hidden, causing us to question if we’re even growing at all.
Just this week I was chatting with a friend who shared that her writing life often feels all over the place. Like a puzzle that isn’t fully formed yet with all its moving and missing pieces. It slowly starts to come together, piece by piece, showing hints and whispers of what the big picture will look like. But it’s often not what she expects, and I resonated deeply with her metaphor.
Progress is rarely linear, although we want it to be. We want a clear picture, a map that points toward the direction that’ll place us right on the path to where we’re supposed to end up. And we often want to know how it’ll end up before we step out.
But, as the Apostle Paul tells us in Hebrews 11:1-3, faith looks like moving even when we can’t see.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (NIV)
In The Message Version, Hebrews 11:3 reads,
“By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.”
“…what we see created by what we don’t see.”
Taking steps forward in the direction that we feel the Holy Spirit leading us without knowing the outcome is a holy act of faith. It calls us to trust God with the roots we can’t see, believing that He’s the One tending to us, growing us, watering us with what we need, and putting us on the right paths for His Namesake (Psalm 23:3).
It’s trusting that we are never outside the will and Love of God no matter how muddy the water gets.
A few weeks ago, my mom and I planted Amaryllis bulbs — flowers that are known to bloom in winter. I’ve been waiting for my bulb to bloom, impatiently trying to coax her up out of the soil, aching for the bright color she’ll provide against the gloom.
But even my Amaryllis bulb knows that lasting growth can’t be rushed and that the best kind of flowers grow from roots that take their sweet time.
She’s not in a rush, and we shouldn’t be either. Because maybe the point isn’t what comes from what grows, but the process of growth itself that teaches us the most.
The truth is, God never plants seeds without tending to them, watering them, and growing them. Maybe our focus amidst all that we can’t see should be cultivating joy and patience as we wait for the promise of what those seeds will bring.
So take heart, dear friend. God is forming within you hidden roots that stretch down deep into the soil of eternity.
God is forming within you fruit that will last, despite what you can’t yet see.
Keep moving, keep going, even if it’s slow — even if it feels like you don’t know where to go. At just the right time, God will cause the puzzle pieces to fall into place and then you’ll see how He’s been carrying you — growing you — all this time.
Peace be with you,
A breath prayer for your weekend
I trust You, Jesus.
Despite what I can’t yet see.
*if you’d like to learn more about the practice of breath prayer, check out this blog post I wrote titled, How to Use Breath Prayer.
Resources & fun things to pick up
Sacred Spaces is officially off and running! The first Christian spiritual practice we are covering is The Daily Examen for the month of February. You are welcome to join us here: Sacred Spaces with Celia
If you’d like to join Summer Joy Gross’ 21 Days of John, you can sign up here: 21 Days of John (The Slow Word Movement)
My friend and fellow writer, Kari Bartkus, is offering an 8-week journaling course called Journal Gently designed to help you experience God’s presence in the midst of grief. I went through the 8-week writing program myself, and it was incredibly healing and life-giving. Check it out here: Journal Gently
Grab some breath prayer cards, a journal, and other contemplative resources from my Etsy shop: The Beholding Co.
Grab a copy of my Bible study, You Are Beloved: a 21-day study on how to root your identity in the love of God, over on Amazon.
An invitation to pause & reflect
A regular practice of reflection helps us recognize what’s going on beneath the surface of our souls so we can name it in the Lord’s presence. Because as we learn to name what we feel, what we need, and what we long for, we’re also learning to discern the Spirit’s sweet, gentle voice within our hearts and lives.
Take a few moments today or this weekend to journal or contemplate with the Holy Spirit the following question(s) or prompt(s):
Take a few moments this weekend to reflect on and journal about all the ways that God has grown you over the last year. Then, reflect on the seeds that have yet to bloom.
Regarding the seeds that have yet to bloom, how can you cultivate joy and gratitude in the waiting? What may the Lord’s invitation to you be in this season of slow growth?
Thanks for reading Writings of a Beholder 🌿 If you’d like to join the community of faith wanderers and beholders then subscribe below.